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Swarm Develops iBeacon Traffic Counter For Small Dealers

San Francisco – Swarm, a venture-backed tech company based here, has developed an iBeacon device for small to mid-sized retailers that tracks foot traffic.

The Swarm Portal uses Bluetooth to relay foot traffic information wirelessly to the retailer’s smartphone or tablet. Retailers can use Portal’s iOS-based iBeacon capabilities to engage with shoppers and, for an additional fee, receive an expanded range of performance metrics within one centralized dashboard, the company said.

The device features easy peel-and-stick installation, and sensors that count each visitor to a physical retail store. Portal then relays the data to the store owner via Swarm’s mobile app, which can also monitor traffic and revenue goals, provide conversion rates, and measure the progress of marketing campaigns and other programs.

Like other iBeacon products, the Swarm device can also push offers and product information to shoppers based on their location within the showroom.

Portal is the latest device to join the Swarm platform. The company said it is filling a void in the multi-billion-dollar small business retail channel, which generally lacks the enterprise-grade tools to capture and analyze in-store metrics.

“Small businesses, which represent 94 percent of retail establishments in the U.S., struggle to compete with big-box stores and e-commerce companies every day,” said Swarm CEO and co-founder Rudd Davis. “We want to make advanced technology simple and easy to use so that mom-and-pops have better tools than Walmart.”

He continued, “Most store owners don’t know how many people walked through their doors in a given day, let alone what percentage of them actually made a purchase. Existing retail monitoring and management solutions are expensive, inaccurate, require professional installation and ongoing maintenance, and fail to provide actionable insights. Swarm Portal … is an inexpensive, easy to use tool for helping SMB [small-to-medium business] retailers operate their businesses better.”

The devices sell for $79.99 each, which includes the traffic tracking function, and Swarm also offers two higher service tiers, for $39.99 and $79.99 per month, which offer expanded suites of metric capture and analysis.

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